No matter how many times it happens, it is no less shocking when a gunman opens fire on innocent children, ending lives in their tracks.
This weekend, as the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims attempt to come to terms with their painful losses, the rest of the world is desperately searching for answers, when the reality most probably is that there are none.
The gun lobby, and the anti-gun lobby, were already preparing themselves for the inevitable re-ignition of the right to bear arms debate on Friday, but even as Obama himself promised "meaningful action" in his emotional address to the American nation, he made it clear his first priority was supporting the victims' families.
In fact, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explicitly told journalists it was not the day for a debate on gun control in an immediate reaction to the shooting.
"I think it's important, on a day like today, to view this - as I know the president, as a father, does, and I, as a father, and others who are parents certainly do, which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event," Carney said to reporters during a White House press briefing.
"There is, I am sure - will be, rather - a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I do not think today is that day."
Others disagreed. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on Obama to take "immediate action", urging the President to immediately introduce reforms that would create more restrictions around gun control. His words came via a statement released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of more than 600 mayors who support gun control initiatives, of which Bloomberg is co-chair.
Aurora survivor Steve Barton echoed Bloomberg's feelings in an interview with HuffPost Live, urging swift action from the President, while protestors gathered outside the White House to call for tighter gun controls.
There have been three significant gun attacks in the US in 2012 alone, with the Aurora shootings in July and the deaths of six people in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin a month later preceding Friday's school massacre. Whenever the debate is tabled and whatever the outcome, difficult questions will be asked in the coming days and weeks. No one can deny changes must be made, and soon.
From tragedy in the US to tragedy closer to home, the clamour for answers in the wake of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha continued this week with calls for an inquiry into both how the hospital handled the prank call that preceded her suicide, and also practices at the radio station where the calls where made from.
With the revelation this weekend that three different suicide notes were left, including one which allegedly criticised colleagues at the King Edward VII hospital where Jacintha worked, and where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated, those calls for answers are not going away.
Australia's media watchdog, The Australian Communications and Media Authority, confirmed it would play its part and investigate who allowed the hoax call to be broadcast, with a threat to strip 2Day FM of its license if it is found they breached the radio broadcasting code.
Taking a radio station off the air will not bring back someone's mother, although until any of us have suffered what Jacintha's family have, it is impossible to judge what is needed to make up for their loss.
Obama told American parents to hug their children a little closer on Friday evening. I think we all need to hug everyone we hold dear as tightly as we can.